The American himself is to blame for the quick defeat. Why did he anger the hot Caucasian Beterbiev?

Alexander Frolov

Alexander Frolov

Artur Beterbiev - Joe Smith Jr.

Arthur’s patience lasted only one round. Then the Russian boiled up.

The illustrious Artur Beterbiev added a third championship belt to his regalia, taking away the WBO title from Joe Smith. The Russian was considered a sure favorite of the duel with the American: the difference in skill between the opponents was too great. But few expected that the unification fight would end in the second round. After Beterbiev knocked down his opponent several times, the referee stopped the beating.

Why did it happen? After all, Arthur did not force things: it is obvious that his coaching staff did not aim for a quick knockout. The Russian is strong precisely because he retains knockout power in the end, when the opponent is already running out of steam. The last three fights Beterbiev won by knockout in the ninth to tenth rounds. Therefore, such a quick defeat of Smith was somewhat of a surprise.

But the American himself is to blame – he rushed to the attack already in the first seconds. Joe was charged with a quick knockout: his coaching staff studied Beterbiev’s career and noted that the Russian was twice knocked down precisely in the starting segments. Therefore, Smith abandoned caution, throwing a huge amount of power punches. Arthur refused to get into the “cabin” and for most of the first round frankly retreated, although he managed to drop Joe.

But Beterbiev’s patience came to an end when, at the start of the second round, Joe again rushed to “thresh” him. Apparently, the hot Caucasian blood of our compatriot boiled up: he decided not to retreat anymore and began to hit very hard in response. It turned out that cutting with the best puncher of our time was not Smith’s best idea. Under Arthur’s beater, he fell once, twice – and did not argue when the referee stopped the fight. The bold plan turned out to be an American mistake.


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